Reservists beat homeless man to death (allegedly) - II

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Samuel

Groucho Marx, I think, once said:

quote:

"Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?"

Cueball Cueball's picture

There was substantial research into and also active development of training systems that were intended to create conditioned responses in soldiers, so that they fire more often, with less second thought.

The history of this is also outlined in "On Killing" by Colonel David Grossman.

quote:

The good news is that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to kill in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning, have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. The psychological cost for soldiers, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating. The psychological cost for the rest of us is even more so: contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army's conditioning techniques and, according to Grossman's controversial thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder and violence, especially among the young. ON KILLING is an important study of the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects the soldier, and of the societal implications of escalating violence.


[url=http://www.ereads.com/book.asp?bookid=655]Exceprt from here[/url]

A former army Ranger and paratrooper, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman taught psychology at West Point and is currently the Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University.

There is nothing particularly new or radical about this, it is all more or less a matter of public record. Todays army is simply not the same kind of army that hit Juno beach in 1944.

[ 26 March 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Harumph

Those reservists were not "combat trained". I believe they'd just finished their basic training - meaning they were brand new - and were leaving their end-of-course party where they likely got very drunk. It's similar to saying that a first year med student is a "qualified doctor" because he knows where the liver is.

They are about as reflective of the military populous as Robert Pickton is of the civilian populous.

quote:

Originally posted by Sam:
[b]I would concur with the above. I was a leopard tank gunner and I can certainly see how killing would have been no more difficult than a computer game.

We were definitely drilled to act like machines so that, for the most part, thinking did not come into play.

Having been in the reserves as well, I can see how soldiers who have not experienced combat as being even more potentially lethal towards civilians at a time of war; there is much less chance to vent your rage which is constantly reinforced by our propaganda.

I could be wrong, but Somalia might bear this out too; here you had the most pent up of soldiers (Airbourne) doing work which involved guarding against unarmed civilians.

In my day the enemy were "Communists" and we never had atrocity stories or solid examples where our life was threatened (most atrocity stories portrayed right wing atrocities, like Central America - except through the policy of mutually assured destruction, but we as guilty as the Soviets. The communists only threatened our "system" which is more abstract, whereas today, there is a "terrorist" potentially on every plane, so we are told.

I skipped boot camp because I entered via a "direct entry" program. Maybe this accounts for myself being a bit more thoughtful - they hadn't had an opportunity to strip me of my humanity.

[ 26 March 2008: Message edited by: Sam ][/b]


Direct entry program that allows you to skip basic? Please, tell me more - I'd be fascinated to know how one joins and functions in the military without the most basic, fundamental introduction thereto in things as simple as shining your boots, operating your weapon, drill, the rank structure, dress and deportment, etc.

As for your statements about the CF, you clearly have no recent experience with it. You're about as "in touch" with the mindset of soldiers today as I am with gradeschoolers. Providing anecdotes about the military fifteen some-odd years ago is hardly a legitimate substantiation for the generalisations you're making about it. You have an axe to grind, that much is obvious. Given your experience with the MPs and how poorly you got along with your superiors and peers, you clearly did not do well in the military. Don't blame the Forces for that - seek and accept responsibility.

quote:

Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]There was substantial research into and also active development of training systems that were intended to create conditioned responses in soldiers, so that they fire more often, with less second thought.

The history of this is also outlined in "On Killing" by Colonel David Grossman.

[url=http://www.ereads.com/book.asp?bookid=655]Exceprt from here[/url]

A former army Ranger and paratrooper, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman taught psychology at West Point and is currently the Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University.

There is nothing particularly new or radical about this, it is all more or less a matter of public record. Todays army is simply not the same kind of army that hit Juno beach in 1944.

[ 26 March 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ][/b]


I fail to see where the problem is. It's an extremely flimsy argument to make that reflexive training is responsible for PTSD. Grossman argues, if you read the book, that PTSD is caused in large part by operational tempo, lack of public support and military support programs, and a reluctance on the part of soldiers to admit they have a problem.

Secondly, soldiers are not automatons nor does the military train them to be. The concept of the "Strategic Corporal" - IE a perceptive, thinking soldier capable of making judgements based on operational and higher concerns is a fundamental element in the CF.

The primary purpose of the reflexive, drill-based training given to soldiers is to ensure that they react effectively in extremely stressful, fear-inducing situations. Firemen do the same thing - train until something is second nature and you'll do it when the only thing that's working properly is your body because your brain is so adrenalised it's not functioning normally.

By removing the cognitive aspect of reacting to enemy fire or fire and movement, you remove the hesitancy, paralysis, and indecision that will get the soldier and his peers killed.

That doesn't mean he shoots anything that moves, that means that when he encounters the enemy, he knows how to go about defeating them without getting killed or letting them get away.

quote:

Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]First Sam, you rock. Thanks for sharing all of this with us.

Malcolm, you are massively deluded if you do not think there is a police culture, a military culture or a jail culture which actively promotes aggression against 'civilians'. Instead of pretending its a few bad apples, why don't you do some reading on the subject. There is certainly enough out there. I, and obviously a few others here, are under NO illusion that the abuses by military and police are the result of a few bad apples. That is a cop out, and takes the focus away from looking at a culture that views ordinary people (me and you) as outsiders aka people of suspicion. Cultures specifically meant to dehumanize the human.

There is no doubt at all that these two cultures are often violent, often and most times against the very people who they are supposed to serve, you and me.

That 'bad apples' crap has been debunked by far too many studies are research for it to be taken even remotely seriously.[/b]


You have no idea what you're talking about. That's not an ad hominem, that's a statement of fact. Tell me about these studies and all this research that demonstrates that the military culture encourages violence against civilians.

Please show me where the incidence of violent crimes perpetrated by soldiers upon civilians is greater than that of civilians themselves.

Civilians are often viewed as "outsiders" by the military, sure. Just as firemen likely consider non-firemen to be outsiders or paramedics consider non-paramedics to be "outsiders" or cops consider non-cops to be outsiders. What's your point? Any job that consumes as much of your time and energy and is as uniquely dangerous as those jobs is going to produce a close-knit culture which identifies itself as being separate from the general populous. That doesn't mean they're hostile.

Soldiers live with civilians, marry civilians, are friends with civilians, etc. In Canada, the "separateness" of the military from the civilian population is largely a function of how little the civilian population interacts with, or cares about, the military. I don't mind it - I detest fetishization of the military like what goes on in the US. It would be nice, though, if civilians didn't villainize us every time one of us does something wrong.

And here I thought people generally agreed that making generalisations about a group based on the actions of a few of its constituents was wrong. Or does that fallacy only apply when we're talking about races, religions, etc.

quote:

Originally posted by Sam:

No, the military are not (as far as I know) covering up the murder of a homeless man story because the accused are being tried in a civilian court, but the few examples I've quckly included above clearly demonstrate, I believe, that given the opportunity they have and they will; look at how they are thwarting their own Military Police Complaints Commission investigation.


What are you talking about?

From YOUR OWN QUOTE: "Thwarted for more than a year by the Conservative government's refusal to co-operate"

The TORIES are stalling the MPCC - the military discloses whatever the hell it's told to disclose by the civilian government. If it won't disclose something, it's because it's being told not to disclose it.

As for the detainee policy - if you know anything at all about policy WRT ROEs, detainees, PWs, etc. you know that those policies are dictated, again, by the civilian government through the DND.

You might as well blame the guy working the counter at Blockbuster for their late-returns policy. Please. Tone down the fanaticism and hatred a bit and your arguments might hold a bit more water.

For someone that allegedly belonged to the CF at one point, you seem to know very little about it.

jester

Direct and candid. Thank-you, General.

contrarianna

quote:


Originally posted by Harumph:
[b]I fail to see where the problem is. It's an extremely flimsy argument to make that reflexive training is responsible for PTSD. Grossman argues, if you read the book, that PTSD is caused in large part by operational tempo, lack of public support and military support programs, and a reluctance on the part of soldiers to admit they have a problem.

Secondly, soldiers are not automatons nor does the military train them to be. The concept of the "Strategic Corporal" - IE a perceptive, thinking soldier capable of making judgements based on operational and higher concerns is a fundamental element in the CF.

The primary purpose of the reflexive, drill-based training given to soldiers is to ensure that they react effectively in extremely stressful, fear-inducing situations. Firemen do the same thing - train until something is second nature and you'll do it when the only thing that's working properly is your body because your brain is so adrenalised it's not functioning normally.[/b]


You may disagree with Grossman but that is no excuse for misrepresenting what he says "if you read his book" in order to sanitize homicide and remove it from the equation.

Although lamenting lack of treatment, Grossman in his book never makes the inverted, bizzaro claim that PSTD is "caused" by its lack of treatment.

Additionally, Grossman's point it is not that "reflexive conditioning" in itself a concern, but rather the use of "conditioning and desensitization" to overcome a pre-existing reluctance to kill people.

Your equating kill-training to the training of firemen because they both use repetition is perverse. Training firemen neither involves the glorification of slaughter nor does it have killing humans as its goal--and it is this dimension that Grossman claims is a major the source of PTSD--as is obvious even from the title of his book.

In case you missed it, Grossman also makes that point in his article previously quoted:

"The hidden cost of killing:
The success of this conditioning and desensitization is obvious and undeniable.
....
The ability to increase the firing rate, though, comes with a hidden cost. [b]Severe psychological trauma becomes a distinct possibility when military training overrides safeguards against killing:[/b] In a war when 95 percent of soldiers fired their weapons at the enemy, it should come as no surprise that between 18 and 54 percent of the 2.8 million military personnel who served in Vietnam suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—far higher than in previous wars.

It’s important to note that, contrary to stereotype, numerous studies have demonstrated that there is not any distinguishable threat of violence to society from returning veterans. Statistically there is no greater a population of violent criminals among veterans than there is among non-veterans. What the epidemic of PTSD among Vietnam vets has caused is a significant increase in suicides, drug use, alcoholism, and divorce. "

[ 09 April 2008: Message edited by: contrarianna ]

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sam:
[b]I agree, I did that in university and there really wasn't any opportunity to abuse anybody[/b]

I was beaten once severely by some so-called 'security' guards at Ryerson once. I agree that some people go into private security as a means of expressing their authoritarian desires, and some hope to use it as a means of moving into public police forces, where I have also been beaten by police. I have met some real assholes in public housing security as well. Any system with such weak oversight is ripe for abuse, and is designed to remain so.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I don't know if I should bother with this post, since it departs from the current babble orthodoxy, however the military actually makes an effort to screen out those anti-social personality types who want to have a uniform in order to abuse other people.

Harumph

quote:


Originally posted by contrarianna:
[b]
You may disagree with Grossman but that is no excuse for misrepresenting what he says "if you read his book" in order to sanitize homicide and remove it from the equation.

Although lamenting lack of treatment, Grossman in his book never makes the inverted, bizzaro claim that PSTD is "caused" by its lack of treatment.


[/b]

Of course it's not caused by its lack of treatment, the support programs that the US lacks are those designed to help re-integrate the soldiers and "decompress" them on their return. Existing mental issues that are not PTSD can turn into PTSD without this support.

The lack of public support, and Grossman argues this, also plays a factor. While WWII vets had a booming homecoming and no shortage of public adulation, vets of wars such as Vietnam, Iraq, etc. had (and have) very little in the way of overt, formalized public acceptance of what they did. As strange as it sounds, having public acceptance (and yes, appreciation) of one's violent acts serves to lessen feelings of guilt associated with them.

As for the soldiers not admitting they have a problem, Grossman argues that many PTSD cases would be avoided if veterans identified and actively sought help for operational stress injuries which foster PTSD if left to fester. He deals with this topic extensively in "On Combat" as well with his whole "bulletproof mind" concept.

quote:

Additionally, Grossman's point it is not that "reflexive conditioning" in itself a concern, but rather the use of "conditioning and desensitization" to overcome a pre-existing reluctance to kill people.

That's exactly what reflexive conditioning is. 90% of desensitization is removing the cognitive process from the act of violence. If you don't have to think about doing it in order to do it, there's no chance to be reluctant or "sensitive" with regards to killing.

There's nothing wrong with that - it's the most efficient and effective way of ensuring that your soldiers kill the other guy's soldiers before they can kill yours. Grossman wholly supports reflexive training, he just tempers it by saying that better mental conditioning is necessary in order to deal with the operational stress.

quote:

Your equating kill-training to the training of firemen because they both use repetition is perverse. Training firemen neither involves the glorification of slaughter nor does it have killing humans as its goal--and it is this dimension that Grossman claims is a major the source of PTSD--as is obvious even from the title of his book.

If killing itself were the source of PTSD then the troops returing from WWII would have been absolute basket cases. Iraq and Afghanistan are bush-league compared to the slaughter that went on in that war.

The constant threat of death or serious injury and injuries/deaths amongst your peers are more responsible for PTSD. As anecdotal as it is, I've run across very few soldiers that are bothered by killing but almost every one gets a little misty-eyed when discussion of dead or severely injured buddies comes up.

If you read "15 Days" by Christie Blatchford, it illustrates that well.

quote:

In case you missed it, Grossman also makes that point in his article previously quoted:

"The hidden cost of killing:
The success of this conditioning and desensitization is obvious and undeniable.
....
The ability to increase the firing rate, though, comes with a hidden cost. [b]Severe psychological trauma becomes a distinct possibility when military training overrides safeguards against killing:[/b] In a war when 95 percent of soldiers fired their weapons at the enemy, it should come as no surprise that between 18 and 54 percent of the 2.8 million military personnel who served in Vietnam suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—far higher than in previous wars.


Nowhere in On Killing or On Combat does he claim causation. That's because he can't, and doesn't, attribute PTSD to desensitization but to a myriad of factors (such as the ones I mentioned - lack of support, diagnosis of injury, etc) of which desensitization is but one.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

quote:


As for the soldiers not admitting they have a problem, Grossman argues that many PTSD cases would be avoided if veterans identified and actively sought help for operational stress injuries which foster PTSD if left to fester.

There is also some tendency in the military culture, still, to take an "invisible" injury like PTSD less seriously. Not only does "suck it up, buttercup" still exist, the fear of that stigma is probably even more prevalent.

The hierarchy is working hard - with some success - to overcome that. But note that even some of his general officer colleagues tended to be dismissive of Romeo Dallaire's episodes.

sirhc542

i served in an american airborne unit at the begining of this illegal occupation and this behavior is not shocking to me,sadly. it is breed into the military class by its internal chain of command and the media. the poor dont exist to them, nor the weak...i have personally seen a 40yom reduced to a game of "pick on the fat kid" just to get the "support" of his section/squad. this is sad, but not shocking.

contrarianna

quote:


Originally posted by Harumph:
[b]Of course it's not caused by its lack of treatment...[/b]

You only repeat your misrepresentations of Grossman.

That Grossman laments lack of treatment for PTSD (which can often be treated effectively) was never in dispute.
"Causality" was made an issue by your attempt to invert it, explicitly making lack of treatment a "cause", rather than modern kill-training claimed by Grossman's thesis:

quote:

Originally posted by Harumph:
Grossman argues, if you read the book, that[b] PTSD is caused in large part[/b] by... lack of public support and military support programs, and a reluctance on the part of soldiers to admit they have a problem.

You now double back and repeat your faulty logic in your last sentence:

quote:

Originally posted by Harumph:
Nowhere in On Killing or On Combat does he claim causation. That's because he can't, and doesn't, attribute PTSD to desensitization but to a myriad of factors (such as the ones I mentioned - lack of support, diagnosis of injury, etc) of which desensitization is but one.

That Grossman does not feel the need to have a philosophical chapter:"On the Meaning of Causality" does not mean he has abandoned accepted "cause and effect" for some new quantum theory of human affairs.
That causality is the foundation of his thesis is evident even from the full title of his book (which you carefully omit): "On Killing: the Hidden Cost of Learning to Kill",--(to help you out, here the word "Cost" explicitly means the "effect" of the "cause", "Learning to Kill").
-----

quote:

Originally posted by Harumph:
If killing itself were the source of PTSD then the troops returing from WWII would have been absolute basket cases. Iraq and Afghanistan are bush-league compared to the slaughter that went on in that war.

To put it kindly, your comparison with WWII veterans, shows either you have not read or understood Grossman, or you think you can easily pull the wool over the eyes of readers here.
It is precisely the lesser rate of PTSD in WWII veterans that Grossman uses to buttress his notion that the modern higher rates of PTSD are due to the new methods since WWII of comprehensive operant kill-training.

I suppose the only real answer to such repeated disinformation is to repeat what Grossman says in his own words:
"...
Manufactured contempt
Since World War II, a new era has quietly dawned in modern warfare: an era of psychological warfare, conducted not upon the enemy, but upon one’s own troops. The triad of methods used to enable men to overcome their innate resistance to killing includes desensitization, classical and operant conditioning, and denial defense mechanisms.
....
The ability to increase the firing rate, though, comes with a hidden cost. Severe psychological trauma becomes a distinct possibility when military training overrides safeguards against killing: In a war when 95 percent of soldiers fired their weapons at the enemy, it should come as no surprise that between 18 and 54 percent of the 2.8 million military personnel who served in Vietnam suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—far higher than in previous wars..."

Samuel

Edited because it was embarassingly long and I've made most of my point below. In retrospect, I ought to have kept it up, but Paul Croutch is the real victim here...

[ 13 April 2008: Message edited by: Sam ]

remind remind's picture

Thanks again Sam, another heart felt exposure of yourself and what is at work within the Canadian military.

Samuel

Sorry, but I can't let go of the idea that I am somehow being asked to "take responsibility" for the beating that I endured.

FYI

Direct entry is where you go "directly" into the regular force from the reserves. In my case, I went from the West Nova Scotia Regiment directly into Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) - an infantry regiment to an armoured unit.

However, I lost my two stripes and went down to no stripes - I became a trooper, I guess.

I had already done General Military Trainning courses in the reserves as well as some advanced gunnery (106 recoilless anti-tank) that allowed me to actually teach a gunnery course which I truly enjoyed doing. I had been on the regiment's rifle team so I was a good shot and had spent seemingly forever doing basic drill - especially getting ready for the trooping of the colours.

So with about three or four years reserve experience they allowed me to go directly into the regular force. Six months later I was in Gagetown doing a Leopard Tank gunnery course and soon after found myself in Lahr (Germany) with the Royal Canadian Dragoons.

That part of the military was a dream come true.

I refuse to take any responsibility for that beating by the Military Police. That was wrong -it was unprovoked and insane. I did not deserve this and I am not lying about my military past.

Hillier was at the time I served in his Squadron a nob, and from what I read in the press he still is.

I miss my Comrades and the thrill of driving and shooting a leopard...

If I had to do it all over again I would. If I had been asked to serve against the natives at Oka or go to Afghanistan I would not. I would have jumped the wire or gone to jail.

If my country was attacked I would have defended it.

I left the military because at this time the U.S. was installing Pershing II missiles in Germany and I saw our base blockaded by anti-nuclear protesters and I agreed with them that the notion of a limited nuclear war was unthinkable.

So I left the military.

Again, I can accept not being believed as to my military past - no problem. If anyone does not believe me then I will post photos.

But I am absolutely outraged that I am expected to "take" responsibility for a beating.

That is fucking over the top.

sirhc542

my military exp. has left me with ptsd and i never fired my weapon at a single live "enemy". as a matter of fact i never left the u.s. any one who ever has been in an infantry unit can tell you that garrison life with bored killing machines is its own warish hell. and they are right. this conflict is bush league compared to vietnam or ww2. its over kill on a poverty stricken country, in the name of retrobution.any one who uses their military exp. to justify an assault is as sick as the people who tolerate this facade of a war. CROUTCH is a victim. along with ever peacefull intelligent human that resists capitailism or the police state mentality that has engulfed our little world.

Cueball Cueball's picture

A good book on PTSD for those with a literary bent is "Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character" by Jonathon Shay, who is a leading clinical therapist on PTSD, relating to US victims of the Vietnam War.

the grey

quote:


Originally posted by Sam:
[b]Direct entry is where you go "directly" into the regular force from the reserves. In my case, I went from the West Nova Scotia Regiment directly into Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) - an infantry regiment to an armoured unit.

However, I lost my two stripes and went down to no stripes - I became a trooper, I guess.

I had already done General Military Trainning courses in the reserves as well as some advanced gunnery (106 recoilless anti-tank) that allowed me to actually teach a gunnery course which I truly enjoyed doing.[/b]


Thanks for clarifying that, contrary to your earlier assertion, you did in fact complete basic training when you joined the CF.

BTW, transfering from the reserves to the reg force isn't called "direct entry," but a "component transfer." Direct entry is for officers who have already completed a university degree, and they are required to complete basic training.

Samuel

Are you implying something here?

the grey

quote:


Originally posted by Sam:
[b]Are you implying something here?[/b]

No. Just noting that you corrected your misleading statement that you "skipped boot camp" above.

Samuel

Ok buddy...but why the attitude?

There is a currently serving Babble member of the reg forces who e-mailed me today to say that he was a "direct entry" too (he said he was leaving Babble frustrated and I so understand why). He also e-mailed me to apologize because he said he thought I was at first a poser too.

He understood the term "direct entry" and despite the nomenclature snafu it appears the term is still in use to this day.

Great guy by the way...he said he wouldn't be missed on Babble but I told him otherwise.

This forum has a way of making people feel really crappy about themselves.

The officers, NCOs and other ranks all called us "direct entries". I have absolutely no clue what the "book" called us; All I know is that is what we called ourselves and everyone else called us. It kinda made sense at the time too and still does, quite frankly.

But I have absolutely no doubt that you have come across the correct term.

With regard to your assertion that I'm now changing my story regarding "basic trainning", no; it was a HUGE issue with the other guys who had just gone through (survived) basic that here (me) were these "direct entries" having skipped Cornwallis while they'd just completed their stint through hell.

They were pissed and I don't blame them.

In the reserves we called our basic trainning General Military Trainning or "GMT". We did this mostly on weekends except for, I think, two weeks straight at Camp Aldershot.

The point being that it was pretty well drilled into us that our "GMT" was in no way comparable to the reg force "basic"...so because we never called it "basic" and because it was supposedly substandard anyways, I (and everyone else) referred to us as having "skipped" basic trainning.

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: Sam ]

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sam:
[b]This forum has a way of making people feel really crappy about themselves.[/b]

Do not internalize people's inate caution and fact checking in repect to new people, we have had way too many; posers, agent provocateurs, paid party hacks, neo-con trolls and propagandists, to take people at naive face value. It is actually nothing personal.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sam:
[b]

In the reserves we called our basic trainning General Military Trainning or "GMT". We did this mostly on weekends except for, I think, two weeks straight at Camp Aldershot.

The point being that it was pretty well drilled into us that our "GMT" was in no way comparable to the reg force "basic"...so because we never called it "basic" and because it was supposedly substandard anyways, I (and everyone else) referred to us as having "skipped" basic trainning.

[ 14 April 2008: Message edited by: Sam ][/b]


You've been out quite a while then. Reservists are now routinely trained to a RegF standard - including Basic.

Samuel

Your point is?

Stargazer

Don't take the bait Sam. It's clear Malcolm is somewhat of an apologist for things that he shouldn't be. It's also clear he has no understanding of the armed forces nor criminology.

As for the other poster who left, I will certainly miss him. He was a good man who had great things to contribute.

Don't let these people scare you off.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

quote:


Stargazer: As for the other poster who left, I will certainly miss him. He was a good man who had great things to contribute.

I'd like to re-iterate those sentiments. I had some interesting conversations, some by PM, with Xxxxxxx. In particular, he was the first person with a military background on babble who was actually curious about a left wing perspective on combining military and political matters, which was already head and shoulders above many of the "pith helmet" types who sound like reincarnations of Colonel Blimp or something.

Because he chose to put his reasons for leaving babble in a private message I don't feel entitled to discuss them.

Happy trails.

Cueball has suggested that the name of the poster should be kept private. So I've removed it.

[ 15 April 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Well, I think that the poster who notified people that he was leaving the board did so privately, and not as a public flounce, so perhaps its better not to identify who it is.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Thanks. They can also come back now whenever they want without it being a big public deal.

Michelle

Hey, I'm sorry to hear that too. I didn't realize until I read these last few posts.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I suppose you're right but it's not possible to put all of the toothpaste back in the tube. So I've removed a name from this thread only.

I've removed a name reference from the two threads where it was used. So people have to figure it out on their own.

[ 15 April 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sure I for one greatly sympathized with that posters feelings on the issue, and understood completely why they felt continuing to post was no longer worthwhile.

It is a loss for the site for sure, as they were able to express important counter-points to the main view of the board, in a respectful manner that was in no way trolling of any kind.

[ 15 April 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Samuel

quote:


Do not internalize people's inate caution and fact checking in repect to new people, we have had way too many; posers, agent provocateurs, paid party hacks, neo-con trolls and propagandists, to take people at naive face value. It is actually nothing personal.

Fair enough with regard to fact checking, but being told to "take responsibility" for an unprovoked beating and then being called a "whore" (in another thread) makes one wonder why bother.

The serving poster who quit epitomizes the best argument supporting that there are many amazing, intelligent and humanitarian elements still in the military.

What is amazing is that people can come through traumatic experiences with their humanity intact.

He gives me hope.

[ 15 April 2008: Message edited by: Sam ]

remind remind's picture

The entity that called not just you, but all activists "whores" is one of the people I mentioned above, and has been dealt with, I see. And people like him are one of the reasons why long time posters here have a sometimes short tolerance level with brand new persons. Moreover people like him are all over the internet forums and blogs, it is what they do.

As to the person who left, that you address, well, I will reserve my comments and opinions.

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]

It is a loss for the site for sure, as they were able to express important counter-points to the main view of the board, in a respectful manner that was in no way trolling of any kind.

[ 15 April 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ][/b]


Yeah, I think that's important. People like that should feel welcome and I am sorry this person didn't.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]Don't take the bait Sam. It's clear Malcolm is somewhat of an apologist for things that he shouldn't be. It's also clear he has no understanding of the armed forces nor criminology.
[/b]

I don't claim to know the first bloody thing about criminology. But then, I've never claimed to, and I haven't made a single comment about criminology on this entire thread. I suggest you stop gazing at stars and perhaps do a little fact-checking before you start libeling people.

I am quite confident in saying that my knowledge of the military is greater than yours - and is is certainly more current than Sam's.

It is ironic that one self-righteous troll should accuse me of being highly placed in the military establishment while another should claim I know nothing of the military. You trolls should get your stories straight.

If I might, Stargazer, if you have nothing to contribute to an actual discussion, perhaps you should avoid embarrassing yourself.

Sam, my point was to correct a comment of yours which, while it would have been true 10-20 years ago is not correct now. In general, Reserve personnel are trained to RegF standard. That probably wasn't the case in your time, based on your comments.

Sam, I don't know when you served exactly. Certainly many of the comments you have made - about unequal training, about pervasive racism and sexism - I would not deny were true. And I certainly wouldn't argue that all traces of racism and sexism are gone.

This is not the Canadian Forces in which you served. Diversity training (for lack of a better word and to avoid a military acronym) is now required of every member of the CF. Racist or sexist conduct can lead to administrative and disciplinary action. The recruiting system is more effective at screening out on the basis of anti-social attitudes / behaviour.

Certainly the CF isn't perfect, and doubtless there will continue to be problems. The apparent actions of these three soldiers is proof enough of that.

Some of the posters on this thread are determined to vent their hateful rage at the men and women of the Canadian Forces, regardless of the facts.

[ 16 April 2008: Message edited by: Malcolm French, APR ]

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I actually took a moment to review the entire thread, Stargazer. Other than telling you off after a previous flame from you, I have said nothing on this thread that warrants the viscious lie you've told about me in your most recent post.

By contrast, I could not find any substance in your posts on this thread. In fact, all I saw was a lot of military bashing without anything but your own hatred to back it up. Oh, and flames directed at me.

Sam, at least, has offered up some substance. In general, I believe he is telling the truth about his experiences in the military. His experience differs from mine - which could have to do with when he served (I can't tell from his posts) or from the fact that he and I were in different services. What I can say is that his experience does not reflect the current reality in the CF.

Now, Stargazer, if all you've got is more insulting invective, I suggest you don't bother.

Try substance occasionally.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]First Sam, you rock. Thanks for sharing all of this with us.

Malcolm, you are massively deluded if you do not think there is a police culture, a military culture or a jail culture which actively promotes aggression against 'civilians'. Instead of pretending its a few bad apples, why don't you do some reading on the subject. There is certainly enough out there. I, and obviously a few others here, are under NO illusion that the abuses by military and police are the result of a few bad apples. That is a cop out, and takes the focus away from looking at a culture that views ordinary people (me and you) as outsiders aka people of suspicion. Cultures specifically meant to dehumanize the human.

There is no doubt at all that these two cultures are often violent, often and most times against the very people who they are supposed to serve, you and me.

That 'bad apples' crap has been debunked by far too many studies are research for it to be taken even remotely seriously.[/b]


I concur on both points stargazer

Dr. Hilarius

Just heard on the radio that the three defendents have now plead guilty.

martin dufresne

And sure enough, the Crown allowed the killers to [url=http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=452736]plea-bargain[/url] their way out of the murder charges, despite all evidence of premeditation. And the good judge made sure the jury didn't protest that and find them guilty of the original charges:

quote:

(...)Superior Court Justice Eugene Ewaschuk brought the jury into the court to hear why the plea bargain was accepted.

Several members of the jury appeared displeased.

"I am sure you are disappointed. I am somewhat disappointed that we are not going all the way to have true verdicts," said the judge. He stressed that this was not meant as a criticism of prosecutor Hank Goody, who is a senior Crown attorney.

Mr. Goody explained that he had an obligation to accept guilty pleas to manslaughter for Hall and Deganis because there was evidence of "significant intoxication" when they beat Mr. Croutch and there was a reasonable doubt as to whether the Crown could prove the intent for murder.(...)


And the sentencing will be conveniently delayed another two weeks (April 30) so that accountability issues have time to go to the back burner... [img]mad.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 17 April 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

oldgoat

That link does wierd things for me Martin. Here's the story on [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2008/04/17/reservist-trial.html]C....

martin dufresne

Oops... I have fixed the link to the [url=http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=452736]National Pest[/url] story

[ 17 April 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The use of plea bargains is not uncommon - particularly in cases where the Crown is not confident of getting a conviction.

This is a conviction. Yes, for manslaughter and not murder. But the prosecutor's comments suggest there is every likelihood the verdict would have been manslaughter in any event due to the difficulty of proving intent - which is required on a murder charge.

They'll be going to jail. Their military careers are over. This may not be perfect accountability, but it isn't like they are facing no consequences.

Now, by all means, carry on bashing everybody.

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by Malcolm French, APR:
[b]...
Now, by all means, carry on bashing everybody.[/b]

This is rich, coming from Malcolm.

martin dufresne

quote:


Malcolm French, APR: (...)Their military careers are over.(...)

Oh f!&?/+$g boo-hoo-hoo... Paul Croutch's [b]life[/b] is over!
(Of course if these boys had done the same thing in Afghanistan, they'd be getting a medal...)

Bacchus

Please martin, the correct term is boo fucking hoo

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Well, we know about the plea. But what was the bargain?

Now we have to wait till April 30 to find out what sentence the Crown agreed to in return for the guilty pleas.

You can be assured it is far less than justice demands.

[ 17 April 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]

Sombrero Jack

It's worth noting that manslaughter is essentially a residual category of culpable homicide under s. 234 of the Criminal Code. Where a prosecutor has difficulty meeting the formal criminal standard of proof for murder (usually the mental element), manslaughter is instead substituted to obtain a conviction.

It's also worth noting that a life sentence for manslaughter is contemplated under s. 236, but that this sentence is not mandatory.

Finally, I think it's more than a little specious to suggest that the reservists' actions, if transposed into Afghanistan, would result in a medal or other commendation. Whether or not you believe that Canada should be in Afghanistan - I don't - our soldiers aren't randomly beating people to death on a whim. If they were, we'd hear about it, and they'd face charges as well.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sombrero Jack:
[b]Whether or not you believe that Canada should be in Afghanistan - I don't - our soldiers aren't randomly beating people to death on a whim. If they were, we'd hear about it, and they'd face charges as well.[/b]

You're right. Instead, they shoot them while they are driving their motor vehicles, and claim it was self-defence.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b] Paul Croutch's [b]life[/b] is over!
[/b]

Are you advocating capital punishment then? Not traditionally a progressive position.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

By the way, in pointing out that their military careers are over, my point was that the military does not tolerate this.

Of course, there's no point talking sense. Several of you have your minds made up that every member of the CF is a mass-murdering psychopath in potentia.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Malcolm French, APR:
[b]By the way, in pointing out that their military careers are over, my point was that the military does not tolerate this.

Of course, there's no point talking sense. Several of you have your minds made up that every member of the CF is a mass-murdering psychopath in potentia.[/b]


There is no doubt that not every member of the Armed Forces are socio or psychopaths. I would bet money though that there is a higher percentage than in the general population. It is like saying there are more paedophiles amongst people who look after children than in other occupations. The point is they go where the "action" is for their particular sickness. If you are sick and want to molest children you gravitate to jobs that involve children. IMO the same reasoning can be applied.

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